COMMUNITY-MINDED churchgoers have been carrying out random acts of kindness as part of their annual ‘Love Stourbridge’ initiative.

An array of events, aimed at encouraging people to love Stourbridge and each other, kicked off last Saturday with a fun day in the Ryemarket featuring free facepainting, balloon modelling, hair braiding, nail art manicures and live music from acts including newly-formed nine-piece folk band The Mustard Seeds.

Meanwhile volunteers from Chawn Hill Church and Churches Together in Stourbridge have been helping community members with tasks such as gardening, baking and childminding as well as dishing out sweets to people and businesses in the town.

Around 1,000 roses have also been handed out to passers by with cards asking recipients to think of a random act of kindness they could do for someone this week - to try and create a ripple effect across Stourbridge.

Danny Brierley, operations manager at Chawn Hill Church, said: “I think people have been really surprised when they’ve realised you’re not trying to sell them something.

“What we’re really trying to do is see if we can start a bit of momentum and get people doing random acts of kindness.

“It’s been a difficult climate for everybody lately - we all need a bit of joy and nice things to happen to us; that’s what Love Stourbridge is about.”

As part of the initiative, street pastors have also been handing out dates to town taxi drivers who may be observing Ramadan.

Mr Brierley added: “Taxi drivers see the worst of Stourbridge so we wanted to say thank you to them for their ongoing service to the town. We all need taxis and we wanted to show that churches are supportive of the Muslim community as well.”

Love Stourbridge organisers have also been running a children’s holiday club at Hob Green Primary School this week and will be holding a free afternoon tea for pensioners at Chawn Hill Church, Pedmore, on Friday August 2 from 3pm to 5pm. Call 01384 397287 to find out more or book a table.

And volunteers will be out and about again tomorrow (Thursday) handing out bottles of water to thirsty commuters at Stourbridge Junction as temperatures are expected to rise.

Mr Brierley said: “Around 3,500 people will have experienced one of these random acts this week. It’s been quite a week; it’s really caught people’s imagination.”